Detailed Itinerary Vatican in a Day Tour with Sistine Chapel

Skip the Line and Gain a More Intimate and Deeper Experience of the Museums

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 102 Reviews · 5.00h 14 max · Vatican, Italy

This five-hour complete Vatican tour includes Privileged Entrance, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and hidden gems that include the Pinacoteca and Papal Tombs. This memorable experience will be led by a fun and passionate art historian. Learn the many stories that most miss with this in-depth experience where your guide will make you laugh and at the same time unveil the many mysteries that only a building with almost 2,000 years of history has to offer. Admission Included.

Tour Details
  • Skip the line Vatican tickets
  • View of St. Peters
  • Vatican Pinacoteca-
  • Pinecone Courtyard-
  • Pio-Clementino
  • Laocoön and His Sons:
  • Belvedere Torso
  • Nero’s Bath
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Galley of Tapestries-
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine chapel
  • Creation of Man
  • St Peter’s Basilica
  • La Pietá
  • Baldacchino By Bernini
  • The underground Crypts

*The Vatican has temporarily suspended early access entrance for All Tour Companies. That said, we have adjusted our prices and times to reflect this change so you can book this tour with confidence. Customers have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the lack of crowds!

Calling all major art history nerds or history buffs! If you want to experience the Vatican Museums as in-depth as possible, this is the best Vatican tour for you. On this tour skip the regular entrance line and visit the best highlights and hidden gems of the Vatican Museums. Our guides are passionate and fun art historians. Therefore you will learn the most interesting and bizarre stories related to the Vatican City State. This includes stories about the popes and the collections housed at the Vatican Museums. This five-hour Vatican tour includes:

  • A Memorable Experience

  • Skip the line early access Vatican Museums tickets

  • A Professional and Fun English-speaking guide

  • Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel

  • Skip the line entrance to St. Peter's Basilica

* As of June 23rd, 2021, the Vatican has closed the "licensed guide entrance" to St Peter’s Basilica for all tour companies and tour guides. Don't worry, we still visit the amazing Basilica! However, until this message is removed, we cannot enter St. Peter's Basilica without lines for security. Hopefully, this changes very soon! 

Michelangelo’s Masterpiece - The Sistine Chapel Tour

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visiting the Sistine Chapel. It is one of the most famous sites in the world. This is due to the monumental fresco paintings that cover the walls and ceiling. If you book this Detailed Itinerary Vatican tour in the morning, it includes early access privileges. This means you get to visit the Sistine Chapel before it’s open to the general public. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the Sistine Chapel is located inside the Vatican Museums.

The Sistine Chapel is the private chapel of the pope. It is also where cardinals from around the world gather to elect a new pope. Now restored, every detail and color in the frescoes is easily admired. The best way to see the chapel is by entering as early as possible. Consequently, this is why early access, skip the line Vatican tour is your best option to experience Michelangelo’s masterpiece.

The Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, therefore, speaking inside is not allowed. Since our guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside, we explain the chapel in advance and provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter. Men and women must cover their knees and shoulders before entering. We understand the summers in Rome get hot, a good alternative is to bring a scarf or shawl to cover up with before you enter.

The Vatican Pinacoteca

One of the most rewarding rooms at the Vatican Museums is the Pinacoteca, also known as the Vatican Art Gallery. The Pinacoteca is home to some of the most impressive paintings in the Vatican. They are a series of rooms, arranged in chronological order and divided by art school.

Get up close and personal to a total of 460 works of art. They have been painted by masters such as Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Leonardo da Vinci. The Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery) is one of the more modern sections of the Vatican Museums. This is why it's often overlooked by other Vatican tours. Not for you though, you get to experience it all!

The Carriage Pavilion

Another hidden gem of the Vatican, rarely visited by Vatican tours, is the Carriage Pavilion. This underground exhibit houses an impressive collection of historical vehicles used by different popes, including a Fiat Campagnola. Pope John Paul II was in this car on the day of his attempted assassination. It took place in St. Peter’s Square back in 1981. The collection also contains three Pope mobiles and the Renault 4 donated to Pope Francis in 2013.

Pio-Clementino Museum Tour

Next up is a visit to the Bramante Courtyard, designed by the famous Donato Bramante. This part of the Vatican Museums is home to the "Apollo Belvedere", "Laocoön and His Sons" and the "Belvedere Torso". Learn about the myths and legends associated with these iconic sculptures, before visiting the biggest and oldest bathtubs in existence. Nero's Bathtub measures an incredible 25 feet in diameter. The massive tub is made from a rare red marble so precious, there's no way to recreate it again.

Cabinet of the Masks

Deep inside the Pio Clementino Museum, is the Cabinet of Masks. It is locked away in a guarded room, and one of the Vatican’s best-kept secrets. Most visitors to the Vatican miss out on the beautiful mosaics and frescoes kept here. However, we’ve worked hard to grant you special VIP access to this spectacular feature. With a mosaic taken directly from the Villa of Emperor Hadrian, the Cabinet of Masks receives few visitors. It’s truly one of the Vatican’s best-kept secrets.

Top Three Vatican Galleries

Explore the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and our personal favorite, the Gallery of the Maps. Back in the day, pontiffs rarely left Rome. In order to explore the Italian peninsula without endangering his life, Pope Gregory XIII commissioned 40 giant meticulous maps. Most of these maps measure more than 15 by 16 feet, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular.

Raphael Rooms

Raphael was by far one of the most famous Renaissance artists. He designed and frescoed a series of papal apartments now called the Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms). His most celebrated work is the "School of Athens" which is on display here. The painting represents a gathering of the greatest mathematicians, philosophers, and scientists. In an early version of a selfie, Raphael included himself in the painting.

Borgia Apartments

Your tour continues from the Raphael Rooms and to the Borgia Apartments. These were these private chambers of Borgia Pope Alexander VI and were frescoed by early Renaissance artist Pinturicchio. Pinturicchio had a penchant for embedding fake jewels and other three-dimensional objects like metal saddle studs in his frescoes. The Borgia Apartments also contain another hidden gem - the first European depiction of Native Americans.

St. Peter's Basilica and the Papal Tombs

Except on Wednesdays

Skip the lines to St. Peter’s Basilica and enter through a special door to enter the most opulent church in the world. Once inside, admire celebrated artwork including the Baldacchino, La Pieta, the Statue of St. Peter, and more. Then, go underneath the church’s floors to visit the tombs of hundreds of Popes. You will also see the Swedish Queen who converted to Roman Catholicism. Learn the stories behind some of the most fascinating leaders of the Roman Catholic church, as you visit their final resting places. Please note: if your Vatican tour lands on a Wednesday, St. Peter's is not open for tours. This is because Papal Mass takes place on Wednesday mornings.

Remember, it isn’t possible to return to the Vatican Museums from St. Peter’s Basilica. If you want more time inside the museums, you must forgo the guided tour of the basilica.

What you get with this tour
English-Speaking Guide
Vatican tickets included
Skip the Line
Tripadvisor Logo
See what people are saying

102 total reviews

Leave a review
Average customer rating
4.97 / 5 based on 102 total reviews
5 star 99
4 star 3
3 star 0
2 star 0
1 star 0
10/11/2021

J
Reviewed by
JD KURTIS MERENA
9/29/2021
Amazing and worth the money!

We splurged a bit with this tour over others and would do it again in a heartbeat. We had Marco, who did his thesis in art history and was SO incredibly knowledgeable! He walked us through details of the paintings, history of Rome and it’s leaders/empire, detailed church history and information about the papacy, and so much more. He is a walking book!! He offered flexibility and asked us if we wanted to see certain areas, stairs vs elevator, made sure to tell us where bathroom and food stops were (and offered plenty of time to use/get!), and warned us about random pitfalls tourists wouldn’t know like steep stairs and low ceilings that he says he’s seen people trip/hit. He went over on his tour time in order for us to see everything and made sure that was ok with everyone in the group before proceeding. We are so happy we had Marco as a tour guide and would love to come back and do more tours with him!!

K
Reviewed by
Katharine Kancer
8/4/2021

L
Reviewed by
Linda A. Lugo Santiago

show more reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

In front of Caffé Vaticano – on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum Entrance. A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

What to bring?

The Vatican dress code dictates you cover your knees and shoulders. If you do not meet the dress code, you may be denied entry! No need to dress like the people living there, covering your knees and shoulders is sufficient. Wear comfortable shoes.

Where to meet?

In front of Caffé Vaticano – on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum Entrance. A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.

Is there a dress code to enter the religious sites on this tour?

We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise you may be refused entry to religious sites and miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Rome can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Is there a way to see the Vatican without a guided tour?

Of course. Click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

I have some doubts about my mobility. Is this tour right for me?

If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly suggest you take a private Vatican tour.

What are the chances my tour will be canceled or the Vatican will close something?

We run the tour rain or shine all year round. Although it is rare, sometimes part of the Vatican City closes for special religious events. If an area normally covered on a tour is closed, our guide will still provide explanations of the closed areas from outside. Plus, we will show you an extra site or gallery to compensate.

Does the tour go inside at 7:30 am without waiting in any lines?

As an accredited tour operator we do not have to wait in the ticket line, but we still have to wait in a security line. For this reason, we leave the meeting point as early as possible and get in the security line reserved for tour operators. The doors open for us at 8 am, an hour before the general public.

Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?

St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesday's in the morning due to the papal audience. We still run the tour because it might be your only day in Rome! Instead, we visit some of the most iconic statues in the world and Emperor Nero's enormous marble bathtub.

What to bring?

The Vatican dress code dictates you cover your knees and shoulders. If you do not meet the dress code, you may be denied entry! No need to dress like the people living there, covering your knees and shoulders is sufficient. Wear comfortable shoes.

Total: $118.95 as low as $107.05

available days discounted days

24-hr cancellation on group tours! Learn more about our cancellation policy

Reserve Now $118.95 as low as $107.05
$118.95 as low as $107.05
You may also like
Guided Tour
Up to 5 % off

Guided Tour

Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Small Group Vatican Museums Tour with a Fun & Knowledgeable Guide

Guided Tour
Up to 9 % off

Guided Tour

Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum and Vatican Museums

Visit all the Main Highlights of Rome and the Vatican in One Day

Guided Tour

Guided Tour

Complete Vatican Combo Tour with Sistine Chapel & Dome Climb

See St. Peter's Dome, the Vatican Museums and the Papal Crypts

Guided Tour
Up to 15 % off

Guided Tour

Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Pre-Opening Tour of the Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica

Guided Tour

Guided Tour

First Entry Detailed Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s B ...

Visit the Vatican Museums in detail 90 minutes before the Public is Allowed in

Private Tour

Private Tour

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Private Tour

Skip the Line to Enter the Vatican City with a Licensed Guide

Private Tour

Private Tour

Private Full Day Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

An Immersive and In-Depth Vatican Experience with a Licensed Guide

Guided Tour

Guided Tour

Ultimate St. Peter's Basilica Dome Climb and Tour with Papal Crypts

Enjoy a Full Basilica Tour with a Licensed Guide and Take the Elevator Most of the Way Up!

Guided Tour
Up to 5 % off

Guided Tour

Vatican Night Tour with Sistine Chapel

Enjoy a Unique Experience of Entering the Vatican Museums After Hours

Guided Tour
Up to 10 % off

Guided Tour

First Entry Vatican Gold Tour with Sistine Chapel

See the Sistine Chapel a Full 90 Minutes Before Anyone Else!

Guided Tour
Up to 16 % off

Guided Tour

Vatican Highlights Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Skip the Line and Enter Early with Your Licensed Guide on this Abbreviated Vatican Tour

Day Trip

Day Trip

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Pope's Summer Home Day Trip

Travel from the Pope's Train Station to Castel Gandolfo After Visiting the Vatican Museum

Private Tour

Private Tour

7:30am Entrance Platinum Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel

Red Carpet Access to the Vatican Museums Licensed Guide with St. Peter's Basilica Drop Off

Private Tour

Private Tour

8:00am Vatican, Sistine Chapel, & St. Peter's Basilica Tour

A Bespoke Vatican Experience for Those Who Can Appreciate a Private Guide and Less Crowds

Private Tour

Private Tour

Private Rome in a Day Tour with Colosseum & Vatican Museums

The Best of Rome with a Private Guide

Private Tour
Private Tour

Private Tour

Vatican Under the Stars Private Evening Tour with Sistine Chapel

An Evening Tour of the Vatican Museums

Private Tour

Private Tour

VIP Vatican Museums After-Hours Private Tour with Sistine Chapel

Exclusive After-Hours Vatican Tour

Private Tour

Private Tour

Private Vatican Highlights Tour with Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Create a More Memorable Experience with a Knowledgeable Guide

Transportation Included

Transportation Included

Civitavecchia Shore Excursion: Rome in a Day

VIP Tour of Rome in a Day

Guided Tour

Guided Tour

Flash Vatican & Sistine Chapel Tour

Our shortest and most affordable Vatican Tour

Entry Ticket

Entry Ticket

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tickets

Great way to skip the lines

Guided Tour

Guided Tour

Vatican Highlights with Rome Walking Tour

See the Vatican and Rome's downtown sites

Guided Tour

Guided Tour

History of Christianity Tour with Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Rome ...

Skip lines at Vatican Museums and Catacombs

Guided Tour

Guided Tour

Skip the Line Vatican Tour with Local Trastevere Food Tour Combo

The Vatican, Sistine Chapel, then eat food!

Valid for 5 Years!

Valid for 5 Years!

The Tour Guy Gift Card

Give the gift of Tours in Italy, France, Spain, the UK and US or Virtual Experiences such as Live Cooking Classes